Resources for Professional Women: Supporting Entrepreneurs
Women are driving change in the business world by defying the status quo and leaving the traditional corporate world to start their own projects. It’s not a secret that women-owned businesses are growing at a much faster rate than others. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report Commissioned by American Express OPEN, between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses. Additionally, women entrepreneurs are creating jobs, with employment in these businesses increasing by 18% since the recession (compared to a 1% decrease in employment among all businesses since 2007).
The problem, however, is that women entrepreneurs aren’t receiving as much funding as their male counterparts. Women-owned companies receive only 10% of VC funding. We believe that given their success rate, these companies need to have more access to capital, support networks and systems; and we’re glad to see some of the companies that have risen to the challenge and are making strides to change this.
Companies Helping Women Launch Businesses
- AccessLatina: The power of Latina entrepreneurs coming together to reach their entrepreneurial and economic potential through capital and resource investment.
- Change Catalyst: Change Catalyst empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation – through education, mentorship and funding.
- Women 2.0: Women 2.0 is the leading brand for the next generation of technology leaders. Learn more about us, read our stories and get in touch.
- Virago: Virago is a strategic advisory for women entrepreneurs that develops solutions to accelerate growth for female-founded technology startups.
- Bad Girl Ventures: Our business education program helps women starting a business get the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. Plus, our bad girls have a chance to compete for micro-loans to fund their venture.
- Small Business Administration (SBA): SBA provides resources to help women entrepreneurs launch new businesses, grow their businesses and compete in the global marketplace. With our online resources, financing opportunities and Women’s Business Centers, we’re here to help you succeed.
- NAWBO: the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of over 10.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is a dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries; and with chapters across the country.
- Tory Burch Foundation: The Tory Burch Foundation nonprofit organization focused on supporting the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in the United States. The Foundation provides women entrepreneurs access to capital, education and digital resources.
- The Refinery: The Refinery was founded in mid-2014 to fuel the growth of companies with diverse teams. Through an intense, customized curriculum and structured mentoring, companies develop a growth and funding strategy that is supported by an engaged community of peers, advisors and investors.
- Women’s Startup Lab: Women’s Startup Lab is a founder development accelerator in the heart of Silicon Valley whose mission is to catalyze women-run startups and guide them to victory through powerful leadership training, an influential network of coaches and advisors, and the ongoing (lifelong!) support of a community of founder alums.
- MergeLane: MergeLane discovers, accelerates and invests in exceptional women and the companies they run.
- Hera LABS: Hera LABS is a unique business accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurial women. The program provides female start-ups, in all industries, a safe place to test ideas and grow their business.
- Circular Board: Circular Board is a collaborative accelerator for growth-oriented female entrepreneurs who lead, or aspire to build, businesses with multi-million dollar revenues. We support women in business around the world through mentorship, content, community and capital, and connect founders to the resources they need to fuel growth.
Companies Investing in Women-Led Companies
- Maya Venture Partners: Inspired by American icons Maya Angelou and Harriet Tubman, Maya Ventures provides investors, from all backgrounds access to well-vetted, high growth startups and early stage companies founded by Black and Latina women that are solving BIG problems.
- BBG Ventures: Founded by Susan Lyne, BBG Ventures is an early stage fund focused on consumer internet and mobile startups with at least one female founder.
- Lucas Point Ventures: A seed and early stage investment and advisory company.
- Bad Girl Ventures: Business education program that helps women starting a business get the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. Plus, bad girls have a chance to compete for micro-loans to fund their venture.
- SheEO: Founded by Vicki Saunders, a serial entrepreneur, SheEO seeks to take advantage of women’s economic and social power to radically transform the landscape for women entrepreneurs by raising a billion dollars of capital by 2020 through individual women committing $1,000 each.
- Female Founders Fund: An early-stage fund investing in the exponential power of exceptional female talent.
- Astia: Astia is transforming the way businesses are funded in the here and now, providing capital, connections, and guidance that fuel the growth of highly innovative, women-led ventures around the globe.
Almost a quarter of Ellevate Network members believe that the best way to close the gender gap in funding for start-ups is to have more women participating as investors. After all, women control $11.2 trillion of investable assets yet as much as $500 billion is not invested. Having more women controlling investment decisions will lead to more products and companies for women and by women being funded. These companies have taken it into their own hands to help women become more involved in investing and fund women-owned businesses.
- 37 Angels: A community of women angel investors with the mission of educating early stage investors
- Pipeline Angels: A network of new and seasoned women investors that is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs.
- Golden Seeds: A network of investors seeking and funding high-potential, women-led businesses.
- Broadway Angels: Angel investment group made up of world-class investors and business executives who all happen to be women.
- Plum Alley: Founded by Deborah Jackson and Andrea Turner Moffitt, Plum Alley increases the amount of capital going to women entrepreneurs and gender balanced teams by expanding the number of women and men who invest in private companies.
It’s worth to note, at this point, that investing directly into start-ups will not be right for everyone. That said, the massive amount of assets women control that are still sitting on the sidelines should not be just put under your mattress (or in your bank account). These companies are leading the way when it comes to helping women take control of their money.
Honorable Mention - Companies Helping Women Take Control of Their Finances:
- LearnVest: LearnVest gives you a financial plan, a real person to talk to, and tools to make better financial decisions.
At Ellevate, we believe that having more women starting and leading businesses is an integral part of making the business world more friendly to women working in it. In a recent poll, more than half of Ellevate members said they don’t have a say in their company’s cultures and policies as they pertain to working women and families. We believe that a big part of this disconnect is not having someone who can advocate for this group at the top.
Our core values at Ellevate reflect the passion and commitment we have towards creating change: We work to make the world a better place and we don’t wait for others to do it. We take action. As part of our commitment to change, we are proud to work with companies who are helping more women entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running and becoming successful.
Ellevate is proud to work with many of the companies on this list because we believe that as a community of companies committed to closing the many gender gaps that exist today, the power of shared resources, knowledge, and passion is critical. Take a look at the complete list of companies here.
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